Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Calling with 8 high!

I was in a foul and aggressive mood - lots of things were just going wrong. The IDP committee members were totally getting on my whick doing feck all as I'm running around lumped with organising the Deepstack Classic Festival and handling all the emails, texts, updating website and dealing with last minute player change... Grrrr!

Susie Woosie texted me to say she was on her way to DPN's Hartstown €50+10 FO, which was also doubling up as a tribute night in Mark Troy's honour (he won a €40 Satt to the IPO via DPN and finished 3rd in for a nice €33k payday!). With the added €100 bounty on Mark's head and finger food provided at the break the game promises to be big. I decided to give it a spin.

Arriving at the venue, I was disappointed that only 23 players turned up. This game regularly attracts 30-36 players on average but recently numbers have been down around 25 mark. Sign of the times for poker really?

Sitting down to play, I was delighted to find Mark on my table. But I was finding it hard to get a hold on chips with Gav going all-in on the flop in every 2nd or 3rd hand. In one hand I raised from MP with AK, newbie player (very short, playing every hand), Mark (in CO & button) and Gav (SB) call to see the flop A85. Gav shoves and I fold after a dwell. Mark insta-mucks when newbie called with A5, Gav has A8, turn was a king - meh!

Down to 5k from the 8.5k starting stack I just sat back and folded into the action, just waiting for a decent hand to present itself. Finding 99 I limp UTG-call a raise, then checkraised the 9 high flop, player folded scowling and muttering at me. That put me back up to 11k as our table got broken, I was with Mark and Gav on the 2nd table with 16 players left. Finding JJ in CO I raise 4xBB; Gav calls from BB and the Chipleader (on 40k) to my right, who limped in , completes. Blinds are 300-600 at this stage and I have 11k approx, Gave had just lost 10k in a big pot 2 hands previously but had me covered by 3/4k. Flop comes J high, and Gav shoves. Chipleader mucks as I push my chips into the middle. Gav shows AJ and my set holds to bring my stack up to 24k!

Few hands later I'm in BB with 83 (blinds now 400/800), action folds around to Chipleader in SB who completes. It is blind-on-blind as flop comes AKK... check-check... A on turn... again check-check. The river is 7; as Chipleader throws out 1200. I just didn't put him on anything there bar a 7; which I knew I would beat with my 8. I only had 3 cards to beat and just had a gut-feeling feeling that he was aiming to steal so I called... As he tables 65s and I show my 8 then the 3 - there is an uproar!

- What a call!!!?
- You got balls calling with 8 high on THAT flop!
- Haw! Haw! And here's me thinkin' you were a player Julianne(!)

Mark comes to my defence - pointing out that the bet wasn't big enough to make me fold, he would have called too. That shut them up sharpish! I was delighted my soulread worked!

By the time we get to final table I am on 33k, the 8 high call had them all folding to my raises/re-raises! Chipleader is still on 40k approx, two to my left and Mark is on 30-odd-K two to my right with Robbie the taxi man between us just under 30k and the rest all shorties.

Sitting tight, I got blessed with a couple of good hands and knock out one of the shorties who shoved to my raise. Mark loses a big pot leaving himself very short on the button; action folds around to Mark with Robbie and myself in blinds. As Mark shoves his 3.5xBB remaining stack out, Robbie and I insta call! Holding QJs, we checked down all the streets on a AKxxx board to see Mark holding 65o, I table my Queen high and Robbie mucks! Yayyy! That €100 bounty is mine!!!

After that I started running amok - open raising every hand and grabbed the chiplead as we were reduced down to 4 players. Chipleader then exits the other 3 players to retain his chip-lead as we enter heads-up. Checking the prizes - €500 for 1st and €350 for 2nd I decided both were equally good to take... and open shoved with air a few times, limped in with decent hands but had to fold to CL's pot-size bets after I hit nothing. Showing a couple of bluffs I vowed not to fold the next decent hand. Reducing the chiplead to a 60-40 margin in my favour, I limp in on button with KdQd, chipleader shoves and I insta-call to see him table 52o. My king-high holds to give me victory! GG, WP, Good night etc.

At last a 1st place win too!

This week we have the Irish Deaf Poker's Deepstack Classic II festival with 40 registered players, including 8 Swedish players and 1 UK player joining us. The Swedish will arrive on Thursday and want to meet up for a 1/2 NL cash game(!) So this win is very much appreciated!

Hero-calling with high cards sure pay off well! ;-D

Thursday, October 22, 2009

At last a win to report!

LOL! Here's the best news: I finally broke the Voodoo Final Table curse I've been carrying on me! Nowt big to boast about mind but a 2nd place finish for €205 in the Voodoo Ladbroke's €15+15 game is not to be sneezed at consider my dismal run in the last few months...

For those of you coming to this blog late, I've reached the final table in 90% of the MTT tournaments I've played in the Voodoo over the past two months ... and only cashed once - winning my buy-in back(!) I would have given up on the place but Derek, Adam, Nick and the crew are so nice, you won't find any place more friendly or welcoming in Dublin. Plus its full of fish attracted to the low buy-in games (as well as some good friends too!) the banter is brilliant and the cafe rivals the Fitz with the great selection (and value) of food on offer.

I had no plans to play the Wednesday Ladbookes sponsored game as Irish Deaf Poker had arranged a last minute satt game that the Voodoo agreed to host for us. I had an ulterior motive that I'll go into in a moment... We had with one free ticket added (thanks to a generous Susie Woosie who donated her ahem, winnings from the Ladies League the previous Thursday) I had aimed this Satt at the girls, but with only two of them interested/available, I had no option but throw it open to all IDP players.

The €10+5FO was only advertised to the players on Tuesday night, I had 8 replies. Ah well - one table is good enough to go ahead... I informed Nick of the numbers and the fact I would be late (I teach a basic computer class to Deaf adults in the Irish Deaf Society every Wednesday night - with a babysitter already booked for the night I tend to take advantage of a live game afterwards...) I was delighted walking in to find 13 players already playing with several short/big stacks already; we were €10 short of a 3rd ticket so I suggested the first person knocked out be allowed to re-buy for €10... all agreed!

Already blinded down by almost 25% of my stack I had a struggle getting back to a even keel on a horrible table with Frank G (brilliant aggro-LAG) two to my left and Glen da Fish (think of an Eddie the Eagle type who just won't fold his bottom pair...) in button to my BB calling every raise going both running over the table! If one wasn't in the pot by river, the other was(!) I barely held up til we were down to the final 8...

Still nursing the shortest stack and getting irritate by the shoddy standard the game was heading going by the early exit of good players by the hands of Frank/Glen's rubbish holdings. I started eyeing up the Ladbrokes Tournament wishfully, where some of the exited IDP players had drifted into... talking it over with Trish who was just out of the game, with only 5 minutes to the break/the end of the buy-in period. Whether it was worth joining at this stage getting 6k chips while blinds were 100/200 and let my stack get blinded down til I went in. She said yes, but I hummed hawed...

The 47 registered players made it such a juicy pot I so wanted IN; making a decision to shove with the next 'best' hand - if I win, I stay on this table and take home a ticket to the deepstack; if I lose - well, I take a shot at the other tournament. Couple hands later I raised pre from CO-1 with Kh4h (I blame Cat O'Neill for this one!) for 60% of my stack... Frank G using his massive stack as usual threw-in a huge handful of 500 chip's then gave a start in horror when he realised I was in the pot... sensing a weakness, I knew it would be a coin flip so all-in I went. Frank tables A10o, flop comes two low hearts, turn was 10c but no heart or king on the river to save me... I duly skipped off to join the Ladbookes tournament.

Within 25 minutes I was down to a miserable 1,600, shoved on button with muck two limpers and blinds all folded(!) 2,300 going into BB 150/300(!) Had a player dogging me big time in two pots, snapping off my raises or calling then hitting... Urgh! Finding Kh10h in BB, UGT made a min-raise to 600, with no less than 4 callers by the time it came back to me. With 5 players in the pot - I elected to call, rather than shove.... Flop came 9h8h4x... I had pre-checked dark, UTG made a continuation bet of €500, 2 other callers before it came back to me. I called, vowing to shove the turn - which was a 10... UTG and MP (IDP's Mark McLaughlin) called. Declan who was on Button then shoved all-in, Urgh! UTG called and Mark reluctantly folded. Both Declan and UTG showed 76o for straight but the beautiful Ah fell on river to keep me alive and over starting stack for the first time since the game started.

It was all upward from here... I was joint 2nd chipleader starting out with 21,500, the average player was on 18k; chipleader was on circa. 32k. After exiting some shorties including Tom Maguire who shoved with K10 into my A10. Limping in with As8s hoping to get action, 4 players and flop comes A high with 2 clubs and possible straight. Roy Keating (IDP Player is in BB and shoves, BB (uber tight player) insta-calls for 40% of his stack, he looked like he was going to raise pre- but checked instead. Other player folds after a dwell, smelling a rat I folded reluctantly - my only option would have to push which would have put me under 20k if he calls and wins. There was still 7 players left with 4 getting paid. Roy tables Jc4c for one pair/flush draw, and BB tables Qc9c. No club comes on turn or river but the 9 on River seals the pot for BB. Urgh! Bad fold me!

I was getting feck all action to my raises, which was fine when I was bluffing but in fact I had AA, KK, QQ... I was basically stealing blinds and not getting paid good, limping in and mini-raising pot was causing them to insta fold(!) Limping with a bluff hand (96s) from MP with one caller behind and shortie goes all-in on button for 3xBB; BB and caller folds, I'm looking at getting 3-to-1 for my money here playing a coin flip that Frank Grace would not hesitate to play and thus elected to call. Shortie wins of course but I get a lot of grief for my call(!) After that I get a lot of action and quickly became chipleader on 70k when we get down to 4 handed.

I lose two key races and was sitting on a 2-1 deficit by the time I got to HU with the players who started FT with 32k, but remained very quietly under the radar. In HU he min-raised every pot... I went totally card dead! Getting 73, 94, 82 etc I had no choice but lay down my hands to the raises, any raises I called, I was missing the flop and facing a huge bet... in 15 minutes the deficit had grown a sick 8-1(!) Clawing it back 5-1 with a couple of all-ins I checked to see a flop KQ5, holding 95s and two suits on the board I shoved. CL insta-called with KQ... board bricks and I'm out in 2nd place. WP Sir... a couple of players watching the match pointed out that my HU play was very weak - I should have shoved in a lot of spots, but with hardly any read on the CL plus card death I was at a disadvantage for shoving.

I won't complain about 'only' winning €204 while CL got €350-odd - I'm so grateful to get some confidence in my play back! Need to put some much needed work into my end game strategy - especially HU before the Deepstack next week. Couple of nights with Dan Harrington me thinks.

Putting €50 on cash table I rolled it up to €175 before the tiredness kicked in and had to call it a night. A €300 profit after buy-ins, tips, and wee blackjack flutter is good enough for me!

On the poker front I was working at the IPO last weekend - which marked my 2nd anniversary of dealing, my third IPO too. Every year I promise I will play it 'next year' but when the time comes I'm always asked to work - and it's hard to say no, especially if you aren't bankrolled for this! Its a top notch festival and I really enjoyed working it - took me a few days to recover naturally! Finishing early on Sunday just before the FT started - I rushed home to follow the live streaming supporting two players: Cat O'Neill one of the familiar female faces on the scene that I deal a lot to (and regard as personal hero) played an incredible game considering the wild field of 1400-odd players she had to wade through, as a female bounty player no less, this made her an attractive target for all the mad LAGs! The closer she got to the FT, I had her pegged to take it down but the pokah gods are cruel with their hands. Still exiting in a respectable 4th place is still impressive, I was so thrilled for her! Bravo Cat! One local player that I play on the pub circuit with - Mark Troy, who won his buy-in via a DPN €40 satt came an impressive 3rd for a cool €33k payday... WP Sir! Goes to show even the decent small-time players can do well sometime! Hope for me yet... LOL!

There's less than 8 days left to IDP's Deepstack Classic Festival... my first festival as chairperson of IDP. We have 41 players registered, a tad small compared to the record breaking 75 players we had last year... but we do have a recession so I'm not going to get worked up about it. Bring it on, boys!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting there... getting there!

I've been consistently going deep in practially all my games over in past few weeks, right to the final table even, but apart from a few small cashes, best being a 4th place €170 win, it's getting disheartening...

I did have one 2nd place win: at Dublin Poker Night's €40 10-player SnG Satt for the Cavan Open. David (Afex on Boards) won the €220 ticket while I crashed into second place for €165 after starting HU as chipleader with 3-1 lead! I actually busted out in the second hand of the game with AK, AK3 on board and Ollie shoved over my 4-bet on flop with trip 3s and rivered a house just to rub my nose in it... Thankfully as first out I was allowed to re-buy. And carefully fought my way to chipleader and remained there until HU. Ah sure €85 up is better than being €80 down!

Was advised to check out the €30FO deepstack game in Fitzpatricks on Tuesday nights. Venturing in last week they had 46 players with 5 places paid out; got to final table with average stack in danger of getting blinded out when I min-raised with A8s, Marie called me from SB then Tom (TM on Boards) shoved All-In from the BB. I had him covered but Marie (older woman, Fitz regular) was chipleader - I shoved over the top of Tom to isolate, and Marie folds. Tom shows AQo I hit my straight on the flop but got piped by his Ace for runner-runner flush to leave me with <3BB. Next hand finding K8s UTG+1, I shoved, action folded back to IDP player Frank Grace in BB, he called with the monster 94o: 9 on flop, 4 on river and I was gone in 6th place... Our Frank went on to split it HU with Marie. WP mate! Was back in Fitzpatrick's this week and exited 9th... first hand of the final table(!)

Played the €50+5 FO in the Sporting last Sunday, I choose the SE because I knew there was a €1,500 guarantee plus with 2-3 tables it wouldn't go on all night. Ha! Little did I know what would happen... With a nice overlay to aim for, there was 3 tables with 37 players. I was happy with how I played, picked up AA no less than three times in the first 2 levels but didn't get paid much with them but it sorted my image for the rest of the game and allowed me to bluff in a couple key hands! Til I lost big holding KK to LAG's raggy ace that rived an 'Ace from Space' and enduring total card death before getting to final table as the shortest stack. Picked my spots well and won enough chips to survive, grabbed the chiplead briefly when we got down to five handed. But the previous owner took them back once the bubble busted. It took almost 2 hours from start of FT til the bubble was busted! had I known that I wouldn't have played there! Tiredness started kicking in, as well as being over-conscious of the time (it was way past 1am at this stage) made me play a little looser. Losing 60% of my stack overvaluing AJs against AKs in a raise-reraise-shove-blind-on-blind action... I then shoved next hand with my remaining 6-7BBs from SB with A4 into BB's 77, the sevens hold and I'm gone in 4th for €170... Kinda glad I left when I did, heard the game continued for another hour or so! Any later and I would not have got up for work next morning! I still think I would have easily won this but for the lateness of the game...

The Voodoo Card Club has become my new base! Apart from the nearest club to my home, the staff are so friendly, the food is good and the tournaments are excellent value... the Ladies League on Thursday nights are great craic! I keep reaching final tables in 3 out of 4 games that I've played here too, but truth be told I've only cashed ONCE! Meh! Next time, I'm going to do a 'Paul Fox' and fold into the money on FT before I play a bloody hand...

Cash action was sick... I swear I find the worse of the on bingo tables on offer, I do! Was dealing in Killarney (the worse job to date IMO, but I digress) and got signed off early one night, missed the bus back to the hotel, got bored waiting around so went into the cash room. Spun €60 into €300-odd with the nut flush, was about to leave when I decided to play my BB the very next hand, a Drunk in CO had raised to 10, button and SB called, finding 99 naturally I call too. Flop comes 962 (wheeeeee!) I bet out on all streets as drunk calls, until 6 hits the river and the drunk shoves. I called to see him table 66(!) Urgh... lost €165 in that hand. WP Sir. Later after grinding my cash back up to €235, when this hand happened: Drunk was still on table, player to his left had been replaced by a new player who was calling every hand, EVERY raise with ATC and hitting. I limped in with Ad3d in MP for a family pot of €20 to see a flop: Jd2d3h - action checks to drunk who does his usual slow act, while he was waffling, Mad Player throws in €30. Drunk loses it: “HEY! f*#@ing bloody cheek of ya, it was MY go! I bet ya got nuthin’! I’m ALL-IN... lets see if ya call now!” Mad player replies ‘yeah... I call’. Next player goes all-in... I was stunned. Facing a huge pot with the nut-flush-draw getting 3 to 1 for my money plus I had them all covered apart from the drunk by €20 odd, didn't stop me from shoving my stack over... praying one time please! But the board bricks, CO shows 5d4d, mad player has J6o while other player shows AsQs; the mad player's pair of Jack holds for a cool €1k pot while I accept the small side-pot. I just gave up and left... This beat has really put me off playing cash.

Online I'm up/down - played one of the Irish Poker Rankings Online game and came 4th, missed it the following two weeks when I couldn't register due to a cake software issue; played again a couple weeks later and was gone before first level with QQ-v-AA... went on uber-tilt two weeks ago and cleaned my online accounts out playing total shite. So couldn't play the last game. But last I saw I was hanging on 5th or 6th in the overall list.... WP to Doke for topping the list - there's no stopping this guy!

Have decided if I don't get a decent live touch soon - I'm going to take a break for a while as I genuinely can't afford to keep playing... with the 2nd November as my cut-off point.

The Irish Deaf Poker 2nd Annual Deepstack Classic Festival is almost up on us, since Ciaran's departure I've been pulling out the stops to get the game off the ground and drum up the players to play it. With 17 days left and only 31 players registered, and 10 of them are non-Irish! At our recent IDP 'Super Satt' night in the Deaf club - 4 of the 6 ticket winners demanded cash instead of the ticket(!) We have until 26th October to get 50 deaf players, the committee have decided if IDP don't get this minimum number then we will open the game to hearing players. Me thinks they'll play just fine among us deafies - I'll film our Frank signing the table signs for them to learn and throw in an ISL version of 'Bing Bang Blaow' to be sure! LOL - now that will be fun to do!

See you at the tables!